How and when to lay grass seed?

hauer277(z7)September 23, 2005

Does anyone know how to tell what type of grass you have to get similar seed to plant, or do you just by any type of seed and mix it in with what you already have? I have some spots my dog has dug up and need to replant grass but I am not sure on what type to get or if it even matters. When should I plant the seed? My lawn has two diffwerent types of grass. One side is plush like a carpet and the other is just normal run of the mill for my area grass. The plush side turns brown at the first frost and stays that way till spring, and the other one stays somewhat green all year round. Does it matter what type of seed you throw down to try to smother out unwanted weeds or should I use fertilizers for that?

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elgrillo(Z6BTX)

The most common grasses in my area are bermuda, bluegrass, fescue, and what is locally called "park mix". St. Augustine is common further south.

If you have bermuda or a variant of it, it will choke out weeds if it is fertilized and watered. It puts out runners above and below ground. I had African bermuda at my other house, and it is a very plush, fine-bladed grass that goes dormant at first freeze. If your grass does not put out runners, you probably have a mix of bluegrass and its variants, or St Augustine. There are also some less common grasses available, also.

Since one of your grasses turns brown at first freeze, it is probably not bluegrass or fescue. Bluegrass has fine blades and does not do well in heat, over 90F. Fescue is thick-bladed and does much better in heat. Both will stay somewhat green during the winter in my zone, 6b.

If you want information right away, you can type the grass names into the search engine on GardenWeb, or try Google.
If you cannot identify your varieties by looking at pictures, or providing photos for us to see, it would be best to go to a local reputable nursery with samples. They can identify your grasses and match them with seeds.

Best wishes

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 8:09PM
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hauer277(z7)

Thanks for the help, much apprieciated. Does it matter when I throw down the seed for it to grow?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 8:42PM
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elgrillo(Z6BTX)

Sorry to miss that the first time. When you buy seeds, your nursery person should be able to give you more info for your area.

Although Spring is the best time to seed entire lawns, you can reseed spots just about any time except winter, with caveats about individual varieties of grasses and their heat or cold resistence. You indicated that one of your grasses turned brown after first frost. It would be almost too late for me to start seedlings with your grass because the seedlings might not develop a root system which would get through the winter, but you can try it in your zone. Bluegrass doesn't like heat, but you can start it easily now and it will make it through the winter fine. Fescue is very hardy, heat and cool resistent, so you can reseed anytime except winter. It is probably too late for St. Augustine, so wait until Spring. (By the way, I reseeded some bare spots with fescue just today because the weather finally cooled off enough.)

Another option: if you have other areas of grass that you are going to dig up anyway, sod those grasses into your open spots and water them every day for a couple of weeks.

Best wishes,
El Grillo

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 11:25PM
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Dieter2NC(z7b NC)

hauer, the plush stuff is bermuda, if you want more of that you plant the seeds in early May. The other stuff is most likely some type of fescue, which needs to be seeded from now 'til mid-October.
With either type seed, you need to scratch up the surface of the soil so you get good soil to seed contact. Spread your seed and lightly rake it into the soil. Spread a starter fertilizer at the rate reccommended on the bag and then keep it moist by watering for 5 minutes several times a day (a light covering with wheat straw will help keep it moist). Once it sprouts and get 3" high reduce the frequency of your watering to once a day. After you have cut it 3 times reduce your watering to 1" once per week in abscence of rainfall.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 9:57AM
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stormyfal1_msn_com

It is October,Do I wait till the spring before I lay seed? I live in Maryland and it is starting to get cool.
Lucas

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 12:01PM
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elgrillo(Z6BTX)

You might get bluegrass started, depending on your first freeze. New grass might be killed by freeze or heavy freeze before it can develop roots for the winter. Most other grasses are better off waiting until Spring. Others might have better advice for your area. Our zones may be the same, but elevation, humidity, etc. are very different.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 7:37PM
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metcals777_hotmail_com

its the end of october.i seeded someme fescue 31 about a week ago.we had a cold snap and we have had 2 frost since i seeded.will the frost keep my seed from germinating? i live in the mountains of n.c.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 5:30PM
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m88jim_yahoo_com

when spreading bermuda seed should i mix it whith sand and if so how much sand to how much seed ?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 12:44PM
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budmantex

Hello. Been reading for awhile now and want to chime in on the Bermuda Grass Debate. I live in a cookie cutter neighborhood in south texas (30 min south of Houston). I purchases my new house with nothing but sand in the backyard. The builder was going to charge $1200 to sod a 3,000sq ft area. I said no. Went to Home Depot and spent $100 on Scotts Bermuda Grass seed and Scotts Starter Fertilizer and supplies. That was three weeks ago. My father in law and I spent 2 hours raking the yard and then spread the seed and fertilizer. Today I have a nice thick grass coming up about an inch long. The kicker is that it is spotty. The rain and watering washed the seeds, so I have some bare spots. This is my story on seeding my own yard. I do have one question. Bermuda grass is so invasive right, well, will it fill in my bare spots. Also, i seeded in late winter(very impatient). Just my story on seeding, let me know what you think.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 11:45PM
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rich_lyddane_yahoo_com

How do I spread common bermuda. I have heard you need to mix with sand, but what ratio, and how to mix, I'm not sure. Also, what do you use to spread it? A common spreader, or handheld, or by hand? I'm just not sure, and I don't want to screw it up. Please help. Thanks..........Rich

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 10:49PM
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